Raoul Magrin-Vernerey

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Raoul Magrin-Vernerey
Nickname(s) Ralph Monclar
Born (1892-02-07)7 February 1892
Budapest, Hungary
Died 3 June 1964(1964-06-03) (aged 72)
Paris, France
Allegiance  France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1912–1964
Rank Général de corps d'armée
Commands held 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade
1st Free French Brigade
French Korean Battalion

World War I
World War II

Korean War
Awards Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur
Companion of the Liberation
Médaille militaire
Croix de guerre 1914–1918
Croix de guerre 1939–1945
Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (UK)
Silver Star (US)

Raoul Charles Magrin-Vernerey (7 February 1892 – 3 June 1964), also known as Ralph Monclar, was a French Army and French Foreign Legion general who fought in World War I, World War II and commanded the French Battalion in the Korean War.[1]

World War I[edit]

After studying in a seminary, at almost sixteen, he attempted to join the French Foreign Legion, where he was rejected on account of his youth. He entered the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, where he graduated in 1914 as a sous-lieutenant. He was posted as a junior officer to the 60th infantry regiment, and ended the war as a Capitaine. During the war he was wounded seven times and became a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, but had more than 90% disability.

Between the wars[edit]

Between the wars, he served at various stations throughout French Syria, joining the Legion on March 1, 1924. He was promoted to Major in 1928. In 1931, he was transferred to service in Morocco with the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment and followed service there in French Indochina with the 4th Foreign Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 June 1938, after commanding a training regiment.

World War II[edit]

On February 23, 1940, he was appointed to command two battalions of Legionaries, which would shortly be known as the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade, commanding the 13 DBLE at the Battles of Narvik. After the evacuation of Norway, he spent a little time in France before joining the Free French in London, England with 500 of his men. He was promoted to Major General during the war. He was also a companion of the Liberation.[2]

Korean War service[edit]

Rather than retire, at age 60, Monclar volunteered to join the French forces fighting in Korea. That force was known as the bataillon de Corée, and was attached to the 23rd United States Infantry Regiment as part of the 2nd Infantry Division. Monclar took a temporary demotion from lieutenant general to lieutenant colonel in order to command that formation.[3] According to U.S. Army General Matthew Ridgeway:

I shall speak briefly of the 23rd US Infantry Regiment, Colonel Paul L. Freeman commanding, [and] with the French Battalion. Isolated far in advance of the general battle line, completely surrounded in near-zero weather, they repelled repeated assaults by day and night by vastly superior numbers of Chinese. They were finally relieved. I want to say that these American fighting men, with their French comrades-in-arms, measured up in every way to the battle conduct of the finest troops America and France have produced throughout their national existence.[1]



  1. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Ordre de la Libration". Ordredelaliberation.fr. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Quisefit, Laurent (5 November 2013). "The French Participation in the Korean War and the Establishment of a 'Path of Memory' in South Korea". Societies 3 (4): 427–444. doi:10.3390/soc3040427. ISSN 2075-4698.